The foundation years and the government’s life chances strategy

Joint Educational Select Committee and Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry.

The latest child poverty statistics are stark. Statistics released in June 2015 revealed the extent of the ongoing problem:

  1. 3.7 million children were living in poverty in the UK in 2013-14. This is 28 per cent of children, or nine in a classroom of 30.

  2. Child poverty reduced dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12, when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty. Since 2010, child poverty figures have flat-lined. The number of children in absolute poverty has increased by 0.5 million since 2010.

  3. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has projected that the number of children in relative poverty will rise from 3.6m to 4.3 million by 2020.

  4. Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (64 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.

  5. Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, and not being able to join in activities with friends.

  6. Child poverty impacts education, and has long-lasting effects on people’s life chances. By GCSE, there is a 28 per cent gap between children receiving free school meals and their wealthier peers in terms of the number achieving at least 5 A*-C GCSE grades.

Read the full response here.